The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is urging the public Thursday to take “sensible health safety measures” to protect the most vulnerable people at Thanksgiving gatherings from COVID-19, flu and respiratory syncytial virus.
The combination of being up-to-date on vaccines, testing, staying home when sick and increasing ventilation can help ensure a safe and happy holiday, according to the department.
Los Angeles County is experiencing high levels of circulating respiratory viruses. To help reduce transmission the department is strongly recommending everyone wear a well-fitting respirator mask in indoor public spaces and when traveling, including when using public transit such as buses, ride shares, taxis and medical transport.
The department is asking hosts of Thanksgiving gatherings to consider asking guests to take a home COVID-19 test before they visit. People going to a gathering who know there will be an older person there or others at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 to test before arriving and to cancel plans and isolate at home away from others if testing positive, even if feeling well.
People coughing, sneezing, having a runny nose, a fever or other possible symptoms of a respiratory virus, should stay home, rest, and recover and not risk passing an infection on to others, according to the department.
The department is also encouraging people at gatherings to stay outdoors as much as possible, weather permitting, and when inside to open windows or a screen door and use fans to move the air in an attempt to improve ventilation to reducing the transmission of respiratory viruses.
Improving ventilation, gathering in larger rooms where people are spaced apart and moving celebrations outside can help reduce the transmission of airborne illnesses, according to the department.
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